With Apple’s Special Fall Event arriving in less than two days, one thing has become increasingly clear–they really do have _a lot_left to cover. Up to now we have had a steady stream of rumors, speculation and part leaks, especially over the past few weeks. However this weekend the flow of information has reached a fever pitch, and you might be surprised who the largest supplier of information is–more on that in a few minutes. Let’s dive right in, connect the dots and discuss what we know, what we think we know, and what we hope to see on Tuesday, October 22nd at the Yerba Buena Center for Performing Arts in San Francisco.
5th Generation iPad
This one is a no brainer. Barring any last minute, unforeseen circumstances, we will see the next generation iPad or iPad 5 or iPad V, or whatever Apple calls it. We expect the newest iPad to closely resemble the iPad mini with a much lighter and thinner chassis, an improved rear and front-facing camera and a 64-bit A7 chip.
One consideration that there has much talk about, but little concrete proof is the addition of Touch ID in the new iPad line-up. There has been speculation that we might see the new fingerprint scanner on the 5th generation iPad and possibly a higher end iPad mini with retina display, but we really can’t say one way or another. Purported photos of Touch ID on a full size iPad have surfaced, and while they are very convincing, it is more likely that Apple does not have the scanners in large enough quantities at this time to include them with this iPad refresh/redesign.
2nd Generation iPad mini
The other announcement we are extremely confident in discussing is the refresh of the iPad mini. The second generation of the iPad mini will most likely be offered with a retina display, as the current ppi of the mini has fallen behind when compared to other 7-8 inch tablets in the market today. There has been talk that supply constraints may cripple availability of a retina iPad mini at launch or possibly delay it’s release until sometime in 2014.
Other enhancements expected in the next generation iPad mini include a faster 64-bit A7 chip, and front and rear-facing camera upgrades. As with the 5th generation iPad, the inclusion of Touch ID has been suggested, but not confirmed by additional sources, so for now we cannot say one way or another if we will see it in this refresh cycle.
OS X Mavericks
We already know that Mavericks is coming–very soon. Just how soon is still unclear, but it is likely that we will hear an exact release date this Tuesday at the Special Fall Event. Originally slated for the end of October, Mavericks Golden Master has already been released, and updated, so an impending release seems likely.
OS X 10.9 Mavericks is an appealing update full of amazing features like Finder tabs and tags, multiple independent display options, improved notifications, iBooks and Maps integration, iCloud Keychain, and energy saving tweaks. It’s easy to see why so many users can’t wait to upgrade their current Mac OS. Hopefully we won;t have to wait much longer. When Apple announces a release date, users will be able to update their Mac’s to OS X 10.9 via the Mac App Store for a price tag most likely around $20.
New Mac hardware
New or refreshed Mac hardware is always a possibility at an Apple keynote. This Special Fall event is no different. We expect to see new Retina MacBook Pro’s with faster Intel Haswell processors that have improved battery life, updated FaceTime cameras, and improved 802.11 ac wifi. In addition, Apple said during WWDC that the new Mac Pro’s would be available ‘later this year‘ but it’s unclear whether we will finally have a introductory price point announced and/or a hard release date. Either way the Mac Pro’s are mostly a speciality machine designed for the serious professional, and few will be buying them for their home office.
Updated versions of iLife & iWork for both iOS and OS X have been rumored to be announced Tuesday with Apple briefly displaying the new, flatter, redesigned icons on their website before taking them down later in the day. Here is a screenshot of the icons. Each icon appears to have its own link to “learn more” about the individual app.
Lastly, the rumor that never seems to die–an Apple TV hardware update. We have heard rumors of an Apple TV hardware refresh in one form or another for quite some time. Sure there have been under the hood updates for Apple’s “hobby” device several time this year already. However, last month, MG Siegler had given us reason to be hopeful of “big things” for the Apple TV–possibly in time for the Apple Fall Event.
He followed up yesterday on his blog…
Well, now I feel the need to pour a little — just a little, mind you — cold water on the rumor fire. While I still haven’t heard anything concrete, the most recent whispers I have heard is that the Apple TV project has been delayed a bit.
He goes on to say…
That doesn’t mean we won’t see an Apple TV update at the event — we could see an updated unit with a spec bump or something. But the thing to be more excited about, the device with some sort of newfangled control system, doesn’t seem like it’s ready just yet.
While he still has heard/believes that we will see this updated Apple TV in November sometime, he suggests that it wasn’t out of the realm of possibility for Apple to make an announcement this week, rather than have a third Keynote only a month later.
We will know soon enough–fingers crossed that Apple indeed has big plans for a new version of the Apple TV. That rounds up our list of what we expect this week. Check back right here on iSource for updates, and make sure to be right here on Tuesday at 1 pm EST, as we cover the events of the day as they are announced.